Kansas State University, as part of its effort to present itself as an environmentally-focused school, has introduced a new mascot. Her name is EcoKat. That’s her [right]. According to the university:
Meet EcoKat, crusader of conservation and fanatic of fluorescents. She has embarked upon Kansas State University with one mission: Reduce, reuse and recycle.
EcoKat, played by a K-State student who auditioned for the role, is outfitted in a costume made of 90 percent repurposed materials. The department of apparel, textiles and interior design helped with the final look, making it an entirely sustainable project partnering many campus groups.
The character, a student dressed in a garment made of garbage, and posing so foolishly, is possibly the worst mascot ever. It’s almost as if the school wants to mock environmental conservation. She has provoked extensive ridicule in the Kansas State community. According to an article by Annie Greenberg in the Kansas City Star:
While a press release from K-State from earlier this month describes EcoKat as “Kansas State University’s crusader of conservation and fanatic of fluorescent lightbulbs,” it’s garnering a mixed reception….
For every tweet in defense of EcoKat are dozens more mocking the mousy mascot. A sampling: “#EcoKat makes me want to leave my porch light on 24hours and drive two blocks to the gas station for a pack of gum”; “In honor of #EcoKat, I will separate my plastics, glass and aluminum from one another… then put them in the trash anyways”; and “Pretty sure I have my halloween costume figured out this year. Thanks, #ecokat.”
Thankfully, the school’s actual sports-related mascot remains simply the wildcat, which is actually a ferocious, carnivorous feline and thus cares not about the school’s latest recycling initiatives.